The lifeguard tower sat way down the beach and marked a reference point for a friendly competition, between my friends and me, to see who could surf passed it the farthest. A perfect day! A solid confidence drove me deep on takeoffs and into rebounding cut backs in the pocket. The responsiveness of my board and what I was able to do with it, astounded me. This was the first time i'd been able to surf the board for several consecutive weeks due to a series of injuries plaguing me since i had gotten it. I was finally learning it!
While paddling back out, after one of the best waves i have ever surfed at Cardiff, i had to turn and take a late takeoff on a set wave that swung wide through the lineup. There was no way i was going to make it over the wave, so i had to turn around and hang on for the ride. I made the drop, but in driving the rail hard down the line, my fins loosed and i slid sideways. There was no recovering from the power of the wave and instantly i was flipped upside down, the wave swallowing me and my board. Up became confused from down. There was no sense of orientation. I tried to reach for my belt, but my arm could just not fight against the force of the water. A second later i tried again and it was all i could do to just flip the quick release, in hopes that the washing machine treatment would eventually end and i would end up on the surface.
When i finally came up, i was still being held down, but not from the wave. My right leg was twisted so bad in the foot strap that i had to dive back down and un-wedge it. Once free, i did the usual: climbed back on and paddled back out, continuing to enjoy the glassy surf with my friends.
That was the last time i surfed. When i arrived home after the session, i realized my leg was swollen like a balloon, which turned out to be a broken femur. The past three months, since then, have been a fight trying to get it to heal, which finally ended up meaning surgery. As i write this, i am two weeks post surgery and showing tons of healing and promise. The surgeon is confident i'll be back to the ocean very soon.
The drone edit and pics i've included are not from that day but from two days before, which was also another epic session with friends. Can't wait to get back to it!
Special thanks to Guayaki and Austin Novy for the shots and to 2XU and Tyler Lausten for the board!